Monday, April 30, 2012

LIFE Update

The last couple of weeks have been quite eventful!  The chaos started when I had to take my son to the doctor because he was complaining for a sore throat...and tested positive for strep.  That very night my daughters started saying that their throats hurt too.  So back to the doctor we went the very next day.  One daughter tested positive and one negative.  Afterwards we headed to Stuff Mart to pick up their prescription.  When we got there, they had no record of it, but the pharmacy worker assured me that was normal and to check back in 10 mins.  I checked back 3 more times (or maybe 4)...and after 50 mins of waiting for the prescription to show up on their computer (and our shopping trip becoming more and more expensive with the things we were throwing in the cart, I made a call to the doctor's office.  When the doctor told me he was sending the Rx to Stuff Mart he apparently didn't mean the local one...but the one 40 mins away (but also closer to my home).  So our Rx was in the neighboring town, and off we went.  Luckily we were able to get the Rx fairly quickly.  

Little did I know that our medical issues wouldn't stop there.  A few days later my son called my husband (I was in town getting groceries, etc) to tell him he had fallen in gym class and hit his head.   I stopped by the school on my way home to check in on him.  As he was telling me the story of how he hit his head, and then "woke up", it was evident that we were going to be heading to seek some more medical attention!  So off to the ER we went, and after being checked out and having a CT scan, the doctor concluded that he did in fact have a concussion, but there was not bruising or bleeding on his brain. (Thank you Lord!)  He was home from school for 2 days to recover.  This whole experience opened my eyes to how serious concussions can be.  We were told to follow up with our pediatrician, which we did a week later.  He explained what happens when you hit your head hard in a bit more detail so we could understand it.  More or less, our brain cells are not connected to its neighboring brain cells.  There is a gap between them...sort of like a spark plug gap.  When the head suffers trauma, it causes everything to shift which can throw off the spacing of the gap.  The effects of that gap being off are the inability to focus, see, dizziness, etc.  Evan had all the symptoms on the list except for seizures (Again, thank you, Lord!)  After I had picked him up from school that day, he was telling me that he was having a hard time focusing on anything.  When he would read in his school book, he would see one word, but not others.  Anyhoo...the pediatrician said that it usually takes 2-4 weeks for people with concussions to fully recover and not experience anymore symptoms! 

So that concludes our medical emergencies saga...stay tuned for more...because with kids they seem to always pop up!  Just today, I saw a bump near Allie's armpit that looks suspiciously like a chicken pox.  So we are going to wait this one out and see what happens....

This week I'm trying not to freak out.  This is one BUSY week!  I woke up this morning, did my devo, then started filling in my daily-to-do list (I will post more of this later, but I think it's going to revolutionize my life!) and realized that something has got to give OR I am going to need to be extremely organized in order to survive this week!  So I skipped the gym this morning since I feel like once I drive the 20 mins there, workout for 1.5 hrs, head to Stuff Mart to drop the deposit off at the bank and get groceries (before even having a meal plan worked out!  Bad idea, by the way...) it's almost noon by the time I get home.  So that gives me enough time to take a shower and eat lunch before Allie gets off the bus.  Then I have to head out to the garage to get some bookkeeping done for hubby's business.  And the rest of the day flies by in an haphazard fashion.  It gets old real quick.  Where was I?  Oh yeah...I skipped the gym and decided to go for a solo 2-mile run after I got Allie on the bus.  It was nice.  I had a great pace, ran all the hills without walking, and worked up a sweat...all in 20 mins!  I got something accomplished and saved's a win-win!  So I still have half of my morning left to do whatever!  Not really whatever...but something on my to-do list!  I love feeling organized! 

This weekend is the Cap City Half Marathon in Columbus, which is one HUGE reason why I'm feeling a bit stressed.  There is lots of packing, researching (parking, directions, etc), and planning to do before we leave on Friday afternoon.  But I will write about my training experience this week (hopefully!) now that I'm not spending every waking moment running in order to get ready for it!

With that being said, I need to get off this computer and get my shower done! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Full Brain

I feel the need to vent.  Not in a bad way, but sort of in a I-need-to-unload-my-brain-before-I-go-to-bed sort of vent.  Feel free to not read on...really, I don't mind, because I can't promise you that it will be enlightening.  Or even enjoyable for that matter.

I think of this blog as a good friend.  Someone I can just tell all my feelings to and not get judged.  Someone who loves me just the way I am because I'm...well, ME.  I feel as if I have all these thoughts and ideas in my head and I just need to unload and tell you about what's going on in my life. 
First of all, I'm overwhelmed.  I feel as if I'm pulled in so many directions sometimes.  I feel as if I wear many, many hats.  And the hats that should be all stacked neatly upon on my head (and in alphabetical order) are starting to tumble to the floor.  Let me say that I no longer am a people-pleaser, so it's not like I say Yes to a ton of different tasks/people, therefore explaining the many hats.  No...these hats are just from the everyday departments of my life.  You know...the cook, the taxi driver, the housekeeper, the bookkeeper, the book reviewer, the runner, the financial manager, the small group leader, the wife, the mom, the friend, the daughter, the granddaughter, and the sister.  I am just plain overwhelmed.  And there's a lot of time lately where I just want to sit down and have a good old-fashioned cry.  I feel as if I'm doing so many things...however not doing many of them very well.  And I don't like this feeling.  Not that I want to be perfect in all areas...but I just want to feel satisfied with my accomplishments.  And that's not happening right now in the least. 

I think one of main problems is that I don't have a daily routine.  I try, but honestly, I'm terrible at consistency.  And it makes me so frustrated.  I set goals and then don't follow through.  I print out daily to-do lists to keep me on task, and only follow it for one day.  I just can't seem to find a routine that I can easily stick to. 

The Runner Hat is stressing me out because the training is getting more intense and time-consuming.  I find myself thinking, "Why did I ever decide to do another half marathon?"  When I was training for the half last year, it was exciting because it was my first half.  The excitement is gone this time around because I've already achieved my goal to run one.  Each training one is becoming a chore to me, and more difficult to fit into my already busy schedule.  Throughout this training, I haven't given up on my gym workouts either.  So some days I do a double at the gym and one running.  It's just getting intense and I'm getting tired.  Here is my workout/running schedule for this week:

Monday:  Gym 1.25 hrs & 5 mile run
Tuesday:  Rest (I live for this day!!)
Wednesday:  Gym 1 hr & 5 mile run
Thursday:  Gym 1 hr & 3 mile run
Friday:  Gym 1.25 hrs
Saturday:  9 mile run
Sunday:  Rest (thank goodness!)

And throughout this crazy workout regimen, I haven't lost any weight at all. Talk about frustrating!  So I've contemplated giving up some of the gym workouts in order to focus on the training runs more, but I'm afraid that I will gain weight.  I have only 3 more weeks of training until Race Day, so I'm going to ride it out with this hectic schedule and then lighten up my running.  I did use the money I received for my birthday to buy a Garmin watch so I can track my pace, distance, and such while running.  I'm stoked to get it and hoping it will help me run faster and longer!

My Cook Hat is stressing me out too.  I used to plan my meals ahead of time and then make my shopping list.  Now, I'm lucky to even get a menu planned at all...and it's usually after I've been to the store, which isn't great for the wallet...or your menu.  My whole meal planning routine (or lack thereof) is just very unorganized.  I also have a TON of recipes that I'd love to try, but never get to because I'm not organized enough with my planning. 

My Housekeeper Hat is stressing me out.  I feel like my life is an endless chore right now.  There is always some mess to clean up or some clothes to wash.  It just seems like it's an unattainable task right now.  Luckily we have small group at our house twice a month, so the downstairs does get cleaned prior to our group meetings.  But this is an area in which I think a cleaning routine would be helpful.  I need to do more research into setting one up.

The rest of my hats are stressing me out too.  The best way I can describe it is that I feel like I'm at a party this 10 of my best friends.  I would love to give them each ALL of my attention so that no one is neglected, however when I turn my conversation to one, the others start to increase their need for attention.  It just seems impossible to fulfill all of my roles and to do it well.  Seriously...I'm perplexed about it.  I just can't seem to get my act together...and in turn, I feel like a failure.  I'm know God doesn't want me to feel this way, yet I can't seem to figure out how on earth I can get it all done and be content.  Maybe I need to just be content with what I DO get accomplished and not focus on the unfinished/neglected areas.  I just know that I'm not enjoying life right now.  My joy is gone and I need to make a change and find my joy once again. 

Alright...I'm I think that means I've gotten enough off of my chest for right now and it's time for bed!  Bedtime has become my favorite time of the day.  Pathetic, huh? 

With that said, I would love to hear if any of you have a daily or weekly routine/schedule that works for you! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Good Girl's Guide To Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire

This book is a great book for anyone woman struggling with issues in the bedroom.  The author's writing style is very upfront about intimate issues...issues that most women don't want to talk about.  The book address how society portrays "bad girls" as the only ones who have great sex, but in fact "good girls" really can have a great time in the bedroom too!  Good girls can relax and have fun and confidence knowing that they are participating in sex the way God intended...within a marriage relationship. 

Even though this book is geared toward women in general, as a woman who has been married for 12 years, I felt that this book would be more beneficial for women who are getting married as a reference to what marital sex looks like and how to be prepared both mentally, spiritually, and physically.  She gives a lot of wedding-night advice and tips which would have been great if I'd been given this book prior to getting married!  If you know of any gal getting married soon, this would be a great gift for a bridal shower along with some wedding-night-themed items.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's Been Going On In My Neck Of The Woods

Did you miss me?  I seem to be going on one blogging hiatus after another these days!  And I'm not really sure why.  I think it may have something to do with the spring weather that hit us, so I find myself outdoors most days.  And since it would be quite bulky (and extremely frustrating) to bring my desktop computer outside with me in order to blog, I just didn't blog.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it! 

So what has been going on in my neck of the woods?  A lot, yet nothing too terribly exciting.  The regular mundane stuff...housework, laundry, meal after meal, bookkeeping for my hubby's auto repair business, going to the gym...yada yada. 

One thing that may be extremely exciting to you (ok, I know it won't, but just try to look excited, ok?) that I have an incubator full of eggs!  I wasn't going to hatch any out this year.  But a customer of ours dropped by with 6 fertilized eggs from her I had to start up the incubator.  And if I'm going to start it up, I may as well fill it up too!  I did offer to hatch some eggs for another customer of ours, so counting his 9 eggs I had 46 eggs a'cookin'!  They are on day 10 right now and due to hatch out the 16th.  I candled them this week and it was so cool!  You can actually see them swimming around in there!  And wouldn't you know that those 6 eggs that started this whole thing never developed.  Such is life, right? 

The chicken craze doesn't stop there....

I saw someone from my town offering up free fertilized barred rock eggs on Facebook.  My dilemma was that I didn't have enough room for them in my incubator.  So I emailed a friend who has that breed to see if she would be interested in them.  She wasn't...however she offered to let me use her incubator to hatch out some.  So...I got 3 dozen from the lady that had them and filled the empty spots with my own eggs.  I don't know how many there are in there...I"m guessing 42ish.  Granted, not all of them will hatch, but it always seems that when you don't particularly want a ton to hatch, they all do.  So I very well may have the following flock:

13 hens
1 rooster
12 chicks that I purchased from TSC
and 71 possible babies from the incubator!! 


The good news is that I can take the extras to the auction and get decent money for them this time of year.  The bad news is that's a lot of chicken beaks to feed!  And that's a LOT of poop!  What have I gotten myself into?  I've become a chicken hoarder.

What else have I been doing?  Well, a few weeks ago I moved our raspberry patch from the backyard (where the goats did a great job of munching every leave off of them) to WAAAAY out to the other end of our property on a triangular piece of land that we have only every mowed and it's really good for anything else.  It's far enough away from the goats and the chickens...but far enough away that other wildlife may consume them...but time will tell.  I have a friend who has beautiful red raspberry bushes that produce a ton of berries each year.  And she offered some plant starts to me and I eagerly accepted!  So hubby tilled up a long patch (maybe 15 ft long by 4 ft wide?) and I planted them.  They don't seem to be growing as well as I'd liked, but our weather has been cold one week, warm the next so they are probably in shock like the rest of us!  I also dug up all the strawberry plants from my patch in the backyard (the chickens love to dust themselves in the dirt there...and in the process uproot my plants) to one long row in my garden.  They seem to be doing pretty well there and I think I will get a better yield because they will get more sunshine.  Hopefully later this year I will be up to my ears in raspberries and strawberries!  (I'll be sure to get a pic if that's the case!!)

I also was able to spend some time in the flowerbeds pulling weeds, taking out the dead leaves and such from my perennials, and mulching.  This week I finished up cutting down all the dead leaves from my many bunches of ornamental grasses I have planted around our yard.  That is a big job!  But things look really nice!

I probably haven't mentioned her on here, but last spring we got a puppy.  She is part Blue Tick Houndog and Chocolate Lab..and she is awesome.  She is so lazy and laid-back and loving.  But 2 weeks ago she came into heat.  This was our first experience with a female dog...and what a nightmare!  First of all I didn't realize that they are in heat for 3 WEEKS!  And that she would need to be penned up for that long.  Long story short, she escaped from ALL of the containment measures we took to keep her from becoming a victim of the many male dogs roaming around our neighborhood.  So that was a daily struggle and stressor!  But luckily she is now done (or will be in the next couple of days)..and she will promptly be going to the vet to get fixed asap!  And I thought having a period for 5-7 days was bad!!

I just realized another reason I haven't been blogging!!!  My sister loaned me her Kindle to try out because she upgraded to a Kindle Fire.  I was hesitant because I didn't think I'd like it at all.  Then I came in contact with a trilogy she had on it called The Hunger Games.  Yeah, it's good.  So most of my downtime was spent plowing through those three books!  Now that I'm finished, I have a life again!  

I am still going to the gym 3 days a week and running.  We only have a month left of training before race day!  I think I'm getting burned out from it all.  I haven't noticed much change in my body recently even though I'm busting my tail and I'm starting to lose hope that this weight will ever leave my body.  It's so frustrating.  I am guessing my eating is the culprit, so this week I picked up a protein powder to have after my workouts or in place of a meal a day.  Hopefully that will help.  I just so badly want this extra weight off of my body!!

This week has been weird.  Mainly just the way I've been feeling.  I think I'm hormonal or something.  I'm happy but could totally cry at the same time.  It's just too much.  I'm reading a book right now (that I will post a review of soon!) and the very first chapter has rocked my world and opened my eyes to my life and how I'm living it.  I guess it confirmed what my thoughts were already.  It's hard to explain, but all I can say is that I need to spend lots of time in prayer and that God seems to be doing something sort of big in my life right now.  So today I felt the need to escape the real world and have me some retail therapy time...just me, myself, and I.  And it felt great.  Sometimes I feel as if my life is full of noise.  Phone noise, kid noise, hubby noise, etc.  It felt good to not talk and to just have some quiet time.  I shopped, but didn't spend a ton of money and came back feeling refreshed.  

With that being said, I need to get off of this computer, change into my workout clothes, and hit the road for a 3 mile training run.  I really want to just take a nap.  I know I will feel a ton better when I'm done though and that's what keeps me going.  

So there you have it...the last month of my life in a nutshell.  I told you it was exciting!  NOT.

Until next time, my friend!